Bolshoi Ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko is due to go on trial over the acid attack on company’s artistic director Sergei Filin in January this year.
Pavel Dmitrichenko is accused of organizing of the attack on Sergei Filin, whose eyesight was badly damaged when sulphuric acid was thrown at him outside his Moscow flat.
The dancer denies arranging the attack. If convicted, Pavel Dmitrichenko could face 12 years in jail.
The attack revealed bitter infighting and rivalries inside the Bolshoi.
Also on trial are the man accused of throwing the acid, Yuri Zarutsky, and Andrei Lipatov, who allegedly drove the getaway car.
After initially admitting to masterminding the attack, Pavel Dmitrichenko later said he had discussed an assault on Sergei Filin but not the use of acid.
Following a pre-trial hearing, Pavel Dmitrichenko’s lawyer alleged that the defendant had been beaten by masked police – a claim that the Russian interior ministry has denied.
On Monday, ahead of the trial in Moscow, lawyer Sergei Kadyrov said: “Dmitrichenko does not consider himself guilty of causing grave harm to Filin’s health.”
“I hope the court will be able to distance itself from the public resonance of this case and deliver a well-grounded and just verdict.”
Sergei Filin has had more than 20 operations to try to save his eyesight.
Following treatment in Germany, he returned to Moscow for the inauguration of the Bolshoi’s season last month, wearing dark glasses.
In March, more than 300 members of the Bolshoi Ballet wrote to President Vladimir Putin, saying that the idea that Pavel Dmitrichenko was behind the crime was “absurd”.
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